Gulf doctors meet to discuss latest thalassemia research

Courtesy by:

More than 60 Gulf doctors met with and heard from local and international thalassemia experts on Saturday to learn more about the latest treatments and medicines available to the Gulf’s thalassemia patients suffering from iron overload.

People with thalassemia can be found anywhere in the world, but they are most commonly found among particular ethnicities, including those persons of Middle Eastern or Gulf ancestry.

‘These events are an excellent opportunity to meet and review the latest research and treatments regarding thalassemia, in addition to networking with patients to see how their lives have been affected by these treatments,’

said Khaled Al Sheikh, Deputy Director General, Dubai Health Authority.

Many thalassemia patients must receive regular blood transfusions as part of their medical treatment, which puts them at risk for iron overload. Too much iron can lead to permanent organ damage of the liver, heart and endocrine glands, leading to more serious and life-threatening health problems.

The meeting, sponsored by Novartis Oncology and Dubai Thalassemia Center, centered on updates involving various aspects of iron overload:

– The biggest ever trial studies conducted in the field of iron chelation
– Latest data on iron removal from the heart
– Heavily iron overloaded patients from Oman and their response to medication

‘We have monitored thalassemia for more than 39 years in Dubai and the UAE, and have witnessed tremendous progress in providing needed support to patients in all different ways — starting from the early phases of disease detection to providing treatments that have been developed into their present formats. These treatments have helped to end patients’ suffering and to integrate them into normal society doing different activities,’ said Dr Abdulla Ibrahim Al Khayat, Senior Consultant (Pediatrics) & Director, Al Wasl Hospital.


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